RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -What started as people dancing in the street at the corner of Allison and Grace, turned into an attack caught on camera early Sunday morning. A man was hit so hard, he was knocked to the ground and taken by ambulance to the hospital.
“I have a three day headache from my head hitting the ground several times," said Bradley Johnson. "It was an unprovoked attack of violence.”
Johnson is an Uber driver who is also on disability, and recently had shoulder surgery. He was on the way to pick up a rider near Allison and Grace Sunday morning as bars were closing for the night, when he came upon what he thought was an accident.
Johnson soon saw people dancing in the street, and honked his horn and tried to get around them when a group of men walked up the car and wouldn’t let him through. Johnson says the situation escalated, he doesn’t recall many words even being spoken as the men got up to his passenger side door.
“I grabbed my phone, started to call 9-1-1, and he reached in grabbed my hand," he explained. “I probably said something along the lines of what are you doing--give me my phone back. I don’t know if I got both feet out of the van or one foot on the ground and then he hit me.”
Johnson’s head hit the ground several times, he was taken to the hospital with bruises, scrapes and a sprained wrist. He says at one point after the men had driven away, he got up, somewhat disoriented, and attempted to ask two people in a car about who was involved in the situation. Instead of answering him, he says the person rolled up the window, and he ended up getting nudged by the car, fell on the ground and the car sped away.
“The next person may be some small person who might not be as durable--that’s why don’t want anything to happen,' he said.
It all still feels like a blur at times, but Johnson says speaking about the situation might help bring a solution to what neighbors say has been an ongoing issue. He is also thankful he has no broken bones or a concussion from being hit and falling.
Because a neighbor was recording the situation before it escalated, Johnson says he is grateful there was someone there to capture the situation, to show authorities and leaders what happened.
“I wanted to do anything to catch the perpetrators,” Johnson explaining why he wanted to talk about the attack. “I don’t live in this community, bit I travel these roads a lot doing my ubering--I don’t want to see this type of activity in a community. The streets should be safe for anyone doing Uber, Lyft, riding or living in this community.”
Johnson hopes the people involved with do the right thing, or the community will help find the suspects.
“Have some respect for your neighbors you need to go turn your self in," he said.
“It’s kind of mind boggling that we can get to this level when we’ve shared other videos,” said one neighbor. “Maybe not videos of people getting beaten, but videos that should have raised alarm bells from the beginning.”
Neighbors said a nearby restaurant and bar that recently changed hands has been an issue since the beginning of 2018.
“We’re grateful for all the development that’s happened, all the new restaurants that come to the neighborhood, but I’ve never in 20 years of living here, never seen anything like this,” a neighbor said.
They have continued to complain about how loud and rowdy it can get in their street when people park their cars, get out, walk around and dance in the street.
“Noise, trash, disruptive behavior, hit-and-run incidents,” Councilwoman Kim Gray said.
While they say the noise has disturbed their peace in the past, they are appalled to see someone get hurt.
“It is disturbing to say the least,” said Gray. “He was knocked out and severely punched. To assault someone trying to get around the traffic jam they created is the most disturbing thing I have seen in a while.”
Gray said she is working with several agencies on the issue, including code enforcement and police. NBC12 has chosen to not name the restaurant and bar allegedly involved because they have not contacted us back after several attempts to speak to them.
As leaders continue to look into the issues, Gray is hoping that the more people who see the video will be able to identify the men who threw the punches and drove away.
“I would like to see them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Gray said.
The suspects are described as black males between 25 and 35 years old. One was wearing a white North Face sweatshirt, jeans and white shoes and has a goatee. The other suspect was wearing an orange collared shirt, jeans and Timberland boots.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.